Work experience at the Ryder Cup. Image: Wikipedia.

Careers Special: Sports journalism – Getting your foot in the door

Work experience with a passion for sport

My work experience with the European Tour and IMG Media during the Ryder Cup is one that I will never forget. Although I did not stay until Sunday – the final and most exciting day of the three-day event – the atmosphere was incredible throughout. The environment was not as intense as I expected and, due to the time zone difference to the venue in the US, there was very little to do until around 3pm each day. This enabled me to chat to my colleagues a little during my three days there.

When entering a job in the media, particularly with sport, knowledge is vital.

The passion that they all had for the sport was clearly apparent. They discussed their best memories since working in the golfing media industry, ranging from travelling the world to interviewing some of the world’s best. My roles included scripting for golfer of the month, logging, and getting to grips with the editing software (Adobe Premier Pro).

The skills I developed are useful for any job in media, especially when it comes to entry level jobs. Work experience of this nature is valuable not only for this reason but because of the knowledge and contacts I gained. When entering a job in the media, particularly with sport, knowledge is vital. Although it is easy to learn, it is not hard to separate someone with extensive knowledge of a certain sport and someone without.

I’ve learnt that with sports media you must be diverse and passionate. On my third day, I met a woman who undertook an internship at IMG Media in the summer and thus landed her first job in the industry as a junior producer. It isn’t inconceivable that work experience can lead to an immediate job.

CV building and careers advice

Although it would have been nice to get a little more involved, I’m grateful that I was able to do more than just observe. This work experience was different from others I have previously partaken; giving me a different skill set that can now be added to my CV.

Media provides a diverse range of opportunities away from big corporations such as ITV and the BBC.

But the most important thing I took away was to be more diverse in my search for graduate jobs and work experience. IMG Studios also houses Premier League Productions, who edit material for the likes of ‘Match of the Day’ and the ‘Football League Show’ – something that I never considered to have been done by an external source. This made me realise that media provides a diverse range of opportunities away from big corporations such as ITV and the BBC. There are many media outlets that will enhance your skills and give you the connections to forge an alternative route into journalism.

The final piece of advice I would offer to those interested in a career in sports media is this: do not hesitate to send emails to individuals within a company. This work experience was only possible because I asked around. Just because a company doesn’t have a work experience section on their website doesn’t mean they do not provide it – you must be confident and enquire. This industry is ruthless and I would never have been able to enjoy this work experience had I not created something from nothing.

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